chapter  3
16 Pages

The political economy of religious violence in Africa

WithAsonzeh Ukah

This chapter explores the extent to which competition between Islam and Christianity has generated insecurity for many citizens in Africa. Religious conversion is a radical reorganization of personal and group identities, meaning and purpose in life; it is a form of cultural violence that uproots a person or a people from one worldview into another. Violence defined the nature of the state and the character or dynamic of appropriate allegiance from citizens. The absence of peace correlates negatively with political stability and economic development; conflict and tension create more refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as the disruption of economic activities. Ordinarily, nation-states emerge based on common cultural, social, historical and economic interests. Consequently, religious violence within a frail and fragile polity self-reinforces, reproducing violence and conflict in other aspects of society and furthering these as state actors are unable to deal with and control such a trend.